NOAA Fisheries Approves Amendment 18 to Address Fleet Consolidation in Groundfish Fishery

NOAA Fisheries has approved Amendment 18 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. The Amendment establishes permit accumulation limits to minimize fleet consolidation in the groundfish fishery. Amendment 18 limits the number of permits and annual groundfish allocation that an entity could hold. Also, to increase fishing opportunities and promote fleet diversity, Amendment 18 increases flexibility for fishermen on limited-access handgear vessels. Read the final rule as published in the Federal Register, and the permit holder letter posted on our website.Questions? Contact Jennifer Goebel at 978-281-9175 or [email protected]

  • DickyG

    By Golly, NOAA! You’ve outdone yourself on this one! Amendment 18 is “Addressing Fleet Consolidation”…???

    Capping ownership by an individual or entity of Federal Fishing Permits at “67” per… and capping ownership of percentage of Total Allowable Catch at 15.5% is safeguarding “diversity”…? Really, is that what you call protection for the under-capitalized family fishing operations that have commonly been initially allocated less than 0.1%…?

    Catch shares “management” has resulted in opening the door wide for any market-capitalized corporation, or any well-funded ambitious individual, to own more quota then they are able or willing to manage responsibly and legitimately—and as Wall Street has taught us: the bigger the less accountable and “Too Big To Fail”, or large fishing quota-accumulating corporate-style administrative office practices “Too Big to Monitor”?

    The catch shares “business plan” is a major cause of the recently discovered chicanery in the New England fishing industry—not a lack of At Sea Monitoring, as EDF would like us to believe. Catch shares commoditization has created an environment that fosters consolidation and monopolization with all the administrative sleight of hand that often accompanies those mega-corporate style ambitions.

    So limiting an individual to 67 permits (Carlos had 57), and 15.5% of the Total Allowable Catch…this is NOAA’s advocacy of “fleet diversity” and protecting the small business family fishermen from the catch shares privatization and consolidation debacle?

  • DickyG

    By Golly, NOAA! You’ve outdone yourself on this one!

    Amendment 18 is “Addressing Fleet Consolidation”…???

    Capping Federal Fishing Permits ownership by an individual or entity at “67” and capping ownership of percentage of Total Allowable Catch at 15.5% is safeguarding “diversity”…? Really, is that what you call protection for the under-capitalized family fishing operations that have commonly been initially allocated less than 0.1% of the Total Allowable Catch for a given species…?

    Catch shares “management” has resulted in opening the door wide for any market-capitalized corporation, or any well-funded ambitious individual, to own more quota then they are able or willing to manage responsibly and legitimately—and as Wall Street has taught us: the bigger the less accountable and “Too Big To Fail”, or large fishing quota-accumulating corporate-style administrative office practices “Too Big to Monitor”?

    The catch shares “business plan” is a major cause of the recently discovered chicanery in the New England fishing industry—not a lack of At Sea Monitoring, as EDF would like us to believe.

    Catch shares commoditization has created an environment that fosters consolidation and monopolization with all the administrative sleight of hand that often accompanies those mega-corporate style ambitions.

    So, limiting an individual to 67 permits (Carlos had 57), and 15.5% of the Total Allowable Catch…this is NOAA’s advocacy of “fleet diversity” and protecting the small business family fishermen from the catch shares privatization and consolidation debacle?

    • jimmywampum

      Great letter! Taking the absurd to new levels….NOAA/EDF poking the rats

    • Pat Kavanagh

      Dropped the ball they did… And so the saga continues!

      • Borehead

        This is an interesting read.
        Carlos Rafael: The mosquitoes are buzzing
        On Monday, September 25, Carlos Rafael of New Bedford will be sentenced for what will go down as one of the largest commercial fishing violations in United States history. In Monday’s criminal sentencing, the forfeiture of some of Rafael’s vessels and groundfish permits, as well as jail time and restitution, will be decided on by Judge William G. Young in U.S. District Court. NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service is responsible for the fate of Rafael’s forfeited permits, as well as other penalties, as part of a civil hearing which has not yet been scheduled. https://coastalfisheries.org/news/press-releases/blog/carlos-rafael-mosquitoes-buzzing/

        • Pat Kavanagh

          Good article. Thank you!

          • Borehead

            You’re welcome Pat, and welcome!